Lao PDR

Phongsaly Alternative Development Fund Project
- PADF (LAO/I32) on-going

livestock laos

Background

At the turn of the century, Phongsaly province had approximately 3,872 ha of opium poppy cultivation accounting for 20% of the national total production with 513 villages out of 611 growing opium and an addiction rate of 5.6%. Despite a major decrease in these numbers after the government ban on opium poppy cultivation, Phongsaly, which currently accounts for the highest number of districts below the poverty line, remains one of the major opium producing provinces in the country. Largely due to severe insufficiencies in basic infrastructure, more than 50% of villages have no access to markets while the daily per capita income is well below 1 USD.

Change in the economic profile of such communities requires technical and economic support to enable viable and sustainable income generating activities, investments in basic infrastructure and access to credit and savings funds.

The Phongsaly Alternative Development Fund Project

The Phongsaly Alternative Development Fund (PADF) project is the third project to be implemented to support the National Programme Strategy for the Post Opium Scenario and related action plan targeting 1,100 priority villages. This programme has been included in the 6th National Socio-economic Development Plan as an important poverty reduction focused programme. The project also contributes to achieving the goals of the UNGASS Special Session of 1998 to significantly reduce drug crops.

Main Challenges:

- Poverty and extremely low human development indicators
- Lack of Human resources at the local level
- Remoteness and accessibility difficulties
- Multi-ethnic cultural context
- Drug transit Area

Objectives:

Sustain opium elimination in 30 villages in Khoua and Mai districts, and reduce opium addiction in 60 villages in Samphan district, through:

· Alternative development activities to reduce poverty by supporting livelihoods improvement of 8,613 persons (1,240 households).

· Drug demand reduction and drug control activities to reduce drugs consumption and to avoid health and social problems by providing treatment and rehabilitation to 837 addicts.

· Law enforcement and civic awareness to prevent further drug production and consumption.

· Improvement of living conditions of former poppy growing communities by providing access to elemental infrastructure.

· Creation and implementation of an alternative development savings and credit funds.

· Reinforcement of district and provincial government staff capacities in terms of services delivery through a capacity building approach.

Target Ethnic Minorities

Akha (Louma +Cha)........... 50%

Lao Lum........................... 6%

Khamou........................... 26%

Lao Seng.......................... 6%

Tai Dam........................... 9%

Tai Deng.......................... 3%

Planned Outcomes:

1. Community development improved, with government staff delivering reliable community services to support alternative development initiatives and the capacity of local counterparts strengthened through training workshops, joint studies and partnerships with other provinces currently conducting alternative development activities.

2. Socio-economic development improved, alternative development fund established and village savings and credit groups developed, yielding to strengthened income generating activities and a minimum of 50% increase in income of targeted villages

3. Drug control programme in the communities developed and improved: Treatment and rehabilitation of 100% of the targeted opium users and preventative measures linked to education and awareness activities put in place in high and medium risk areas

4. Community Infrastructure improved, through increased access to roads and water supply systems.

Management and coordination:

National Level

The Lao National Commission on Drug Control and Supervision (LCDC) is the main national counterpart.

Local Counterparts

At the provincial level, the Provincial Committee on Drug Control and Supervision (PCDC) is responsible for cooperation between line ministries as well as providing general support in all related activities.

At the district level, the District Committee for Drug Control and Supervision (DCDC) is the main counterpart. Moreover, a project team consisting of district officers from the agricultural, health, education, road/construction and youth departments, the Lao Women Union's (LWU) and the governors' office will be responsible for implementing, coordinating, monitoring and supporting project activities.

Coordination and Partnerships

UNODC will closely coordinate with other international agencies such as Care International, the German Agro Action and the Danish Red Cross to strengthen the impact and outcomes of the project.